The Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is one of the nation’s foremost arts magnets, featuring innovative programs in theater, music, dance and visual arts. The school relies on a partnership between the Independent School District and private donors represented by an Advisory Board; in 2001, the board selected Allied Works to complete a major expansion. The project was also an opportunity to revitalize one of Dallas’ important civic icons.
Located within the Dallas Arts District, the school manifests the qualities of creative industry: the brick and concrete structure is elemental, the space raw and open. The building is urban and condensed: four stories of workshops, classrooms and studios frame an outdoor amphitheater at the heart of the school. Each program maintains its own identity and resources, and is connected by a network of multi-story interior streets. The corridors are filled with art and energy; the common spaces encourage performance and informal interaction. At the same time, the building also provides quiet spaces for student to study, practice and refine their creative voice.